Thank you to the OT/PT's for kindly sharing this recent registration feedback :)
Australia Exam - Physio
I found the APC process was pretty straight forward following signposting from the healthcare abroad team. It involved sending off documents, completing a cultural training and then the exam. The exam was by far the hardest part, it was difficult to know how to prepare or what to expect. The best thing for me was definitely completing the practice paper and making notes of all the answers and reasoning for this to look back over before my official exam. There was definitely some duplication from the practice paper to the official exam so take notes!! The topics were so broad so there is always going to be things that surprise you when they come up, prepare for the unexpected but equally don’t stress out on these things as they are the minority. Being multiple choice there were always options to try and catch you out but you have plenty of time on each question to reason it through. I was able to look back through my answers a few times and had time to spare. It is also an exam that once you’re finished you do not have to stay the whole time. Remember you will be doing them both on the same day so a little extra break in between was quite a relief. On a last note, be prepared for the wait after the exam- they say it can be up to 6 weeks for the result…longest weeks of my life, luckily it was only 3 for me but I know this is not always the case!
Having successfully completed the APC written exam I think I can owe my success to practicing as a rotational physiotherapist. There were such a variety of questions that ranged from clinical, non-clinical practices, covering all core areas including MSK, neuro and cardio-respiratory as well as population specific questions about paeds and geriatrics. Some of the questions were definitely difficult but there were still a lot of questions that were manageable. I tried to revise about a month or so before the exam, however I found this hard as the questions were so broad and it was hard to predict the questions. I found working in a clinical setting, completing Inservice training and doing CPDs and completing the practice exam provided really helped me alongside my revision for the exam. It does seem like a daunting task but it is definitely doable. :)
First of all - don't panic!
It's easy to get bogged down with anatomy etc, but a lot of the questions are ensuring your practice is informed and safe. Try not to overthink the answers. The best thing to do is try to inagine that clinical scenario and what you would do in practice.
It's also definitely worth doing the practice exam early to get an idea of the questions and level of knowledge you need to know.
I found Physiopedia super helpful, and Clinical Physio - they have a great instagram page and webinars to follow.
There are a couple of questions that tripped me up, as its the Australian/American abbreviations for things, especially like with the MSK special tests and outcome measures, they often have a different name to what we know in the UK, or an adapted Australian version. So its helpful to look at Australian resources online or in textbooks.
If you're doing the exam online, get all your IT sorted sooner rather than later, as that can be quite stressful in itself! Having everything up and running and ready to go made me feel calmer on the day.
OT - New Zealand
I firstly applied for OT registration with the OTBNZ which initially involved a fee of $1188 NZD to gain access to the OTBNZ portal. At first, I found the number of steps involved quite overwhelming however I made a checklist of each task and document I needed to complete which really helped summarise it and made it seem more achievable. I began with completing the cultural competency course online which took no longer than an hour.
I then applied for the criminal history checks, and whilst waiting for the results of that I gathered my documents together that would need copying and certifying. I would prepare yourself for some extra expenses here. For example, my university required a fee of £50 to send my course curriculum (I initially sent the board a scan of a brief description which was not sufficient so I would suggest asking your uni for this in the early days as it may take some time for them to prepare and send it to you, and the board are quite specific about this document). You will also find that when certifying documents, the OTBNZ mention using a notary public, but they charge extortionate fees and so I asked the board if a solicitor could do this instead which wasn't a problem and was much cheaper.
Once I had these certified I mailed them to the OTBNZ which took about 3 weeks to arrive via registered mail. If you are in a rush perhaps a courier would be a better option here as NZ mail seems to be slow at the moment.
Alongside this, I chipped away at the competencies. You must choose 31 in total to evidence so I would recommend allowing time for this especially if you are working full time. They seemed like a lot of work to begin with but I found once I had an idea of an example for each one it was quite easy. Mine were roughly 350 words each. Once I had these completed I uploaded them to the OTBNZ portal and my reference signed them for me.
Once the board recieved all required documents things moved very quickly. The final thing I was waiting on in the end was for my documents to arrive via mail. Once the board recieved these they emailed me confirmation of full OT registration in New Zealand the next day, even though I was told to expect to wait up to 6 weeks!
This was the bulk of the hard work done and meant that I could apply and pay for the NZ Annual practicing certificate which I received instantly.
For the New Zealand application it was just important to have a direct example for each competency. I think I was getting caught up on a word count initially however descriptive content is more important than word count. The word count varied from a few concise sentences to one or two paragraphs for each competency. I found the OTBNZ very helpful and responsive to all my questions. Having assistance from Rosie and Healthcare Abroad also made the process less stressful.
Healthcare abroad were amazing in supporting me through the process of gaining NZ registration. Initially speaking to people, i was really worried that it would be really hard and take a long time to gain registration. However, with the help and continuous advice from Rosie, she supported me from start to finish and broke the stages down really well. The competency test and self—appraisal were much easier than expected and the process only took a matter of months in the end.